Friday, May 31, 2013

Status report: Chloë, 3 years 10 months

"Maia has the softest skin I've ever kissed," Chloë said yesterday, after "group hug" time with all four of us, which she mostly spent madly kissing her sister. "And you have the slipperiest," she added to me, running a finger down my face. I'm not quite sure how to take that.

Chloë doesn't do naked time anymore because she would rather play "dance class," which consists mostly of wearing a dress and occasionally scolding Maia or me because class is about to start. She loves her dresses and her dancing. She can now dress herself entirely, except for socks which she continues to have problems with. You'd think that, considering she hasn't taken them off except for baths and momentary changes since, like, 2011, she'd have figured them out by now.

We've decided to get rid of her size-four clothes, except for a few loose shirts and skirts. Have I mentioned yet that she's a big girl? We're planning on taking away her sippy-cup rights, but she's not interested in this at all; she's even regressed away from straw cups, preferring actual sippies when she can get them. She's also showing a more typical-than-I-hoped tendency to be a picky eater. She doesn't like cheesy pasta anymore. She doesn't like green beans anymore. She doesn't like fried rice or peppers or smoked sausage. She has discovered a love for sweet potatoes, and still professes to enjoy frozen peas, and of course is extremely keen on candy and popsicles and ice cream. We're anticipating more fights at the dinner table wherein she demands something else for dinner and we refuse. Fun times.

She's also regressing a little when it comes to leaving Eric and me. We sent the girls to Memaw's recently so we could go out for our anniversary (six years! And we haven't killed each other yet!) and have left them at Aunt Angie's a couple of times, and each time she's wept and screamed about it. "I want to stay with you," she wails. We expected that she'd have fun once we left. And, the report goes, she did stop crying not long after the door closed behind us, but she was pretty quiet and was very, very glad when we came back. She doesn't like going downstairs without us, either. I worry a bit about this lack of...what is it? Independence? Self-confidence? Secure attachment? (Only I just looked up this last and no, she shows signs of secure attachment; the "secure" describes the attachment, not the child.)

We've signed her up for swim lessons, and she's agreed that sounds fun, though I anticipate a fight getting her socks off, just like last year. We're planning on going to Daytona Beach for the Snyder family vacation again this year, and she told me that she would "try to go in the water."

She now owns a few learn-to-read books, and we've started sounding out words. Sometimes she's delighted by this--particularly the one session we had with the foam bath letters--and sometimes she squirms and doesn't want to participate. I'm hoping to get her to the point where she can recognize a couple of words on sight ("Hi" is good, since it's the first word of her Dora learn-to-read book) and give her some confidence that way.

She remains a loving sister, though she does try to order Maia around more than I'd like and at the same time tends to wail and scream, more than Maia ever does, when Maia doesn't do what she wants. "I love Maia best of our family," she told me recently. I'm good with that. When we snuggle at night (another thing I want to wean her off of--not that I don't like the snuggling, but she needs to sleep without it eventually) she whispers, "I love you," and I stroke her hair and whisper back, "I love you too."

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